Ah, teen horror films. Who doesn’t love the raging hormones, the prom-queen screams and the wanton massacres of Stacies and Chads? Here on Netflix, you’ll find no shortage of twisted fantasies on the All-American teen dream. From the vampiric fun of “Vampires vs. the Bronx” to the wicked thrill of “The Babysitter” films. Recently, director Leigh Janiak went hard into genre with her gripping slasher “Fear Street” trilogy! A three-part long horror epic detailing a young girl’s journey to save her lover from the clutches of an evil witch. All the while monstrous killers stalk her and the gang. It wasn’t Finchian horror or anything but it delivered on the hot summer thrills of a great slasher romp. The kind that the classics like “Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare of Elm Street” invoked decades past.
Now, Netflix is back with yet another teen slasher film. A highschool whodunnit that draws heavily from the 2000s’ “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Scream”. Will it leave its bloodied mark on slasher history as one of the greats? Or will we forget it faster than a Pendidikan Sivik class? Let’s find out!
The film opens, unsurprisingly, with the vicious murder of one of Osborne’s High football stars, Jackson Pace. It doesn’t stop there, though, his secret sins are then sent to the whole town. From then on, the killer begins to pick off the students of Osborne High, all while revealing the skeletons in the closets. Makani Young and her group of misfit friends are soon caught in the killer’s crossfire. Young must enter a deadly game of cat-and-mouse to stop the killer, lest she becomes their next victim.
“There’s Someone Inside Your House” goes to great lengths to flesh out the terrifying reality of online-shaming and performative culture. Director Patrick Brice play off the social anxiety, hoping to add an additional dimension to the horror beyond mere gore. Unfortunately, films like “Unfriended” have already beaten this film to the punch. At this point, it’s such a passé plot device; conceived in the mind of a committee of boomers trying to be topical. Which is all the film really has going for it.
At every turn, the film is trying its best to sell us on the terror of public humiliation and our characters’ dark pasts. Unfortunately, none of these so-called secrets are very interesting or unique. At times, they feel downright trivial. Then there’s the dialogue…the ear-bleeding, eyeroll-inducing dialogue. There’s no real humuor or wit to anything the characters have to say. Much like the film’s premise, they all feel artificially created in a factory. All they ever seem to do is whine or complain about their very loud labels and how they hate it. We get it, they’re misfits…so?
The film attempts to make up for its woeful lack of characterisation and originality by leaning into self-aware humuor. Admittedly, it does work in some regards. When it doesn’t, though, it bothers on being grating. It’s the typical strand of bathos that plays off a character making light of a dire situation by saying something goofy. A comedic element that needs to die quickly because it is getting very old and very tiresome.
We’ll say this at least, actress Sydney Park does a better job as a leading lady than Addison Rae. We believe her performance as the archetypal girl-next-door carrying a heavy past. She broods very well. Her character’s chemistry with Théodore Pellerin’s Ollie was somewhat endearing, if not underdeveloped. We’re sure in the original book that there’s plenty of time dedicated to explaining their relationship. Sadly, the film’s hour and a half runtime fails to capture it in any meaningful way. Furthermore, Park falters in dramatically heavy scenes. Her big lines at the climax of the film come as flat and inauthentic.
Time for the all-important question: Is “There’s Someone Inside Your House” scary? No. It’s not. As mentioned earlier, the film is so preoccupied with teenager angst and highschool ennui that it couldn’t give a rat’s ass about trying to craft a proper scare. The film is very reliant on jumpscares and its score (those damn violins) to carry its slasher scenes. The supposed meat of the film. There’s no innovative use of negative space, lighting, atmosphere or tension. There’s no artistry or any real forethought.
Perhaps the only scene that could possibly ellicit any sort of shock was the one taking place in the church. A scene in which trailer already spoils! With little to no tension or dread, the film relies on cheap blood and gore to sell its slasher horror label. Even in that regard the film fails to come up with anything exciting. There’s an amateurish quality about the entire film that constantly breaks immersion. If horror films are roller coasters that build on momentum and twists than “There’s Someone Inside Your House” is a Ferris wheel. A dull, predictable crawl simply going through the motions.
A good slasher film should be the perfect blend of scary and goofy. Striking a fine balance between corny youthful fun with dark, foreboding murder. Sometimes, they can be even cerebral as well. Look at 2011’s “The Cabin in the Woods”. It masterfully deconstructs classic slasher tropes while still delivering actual scares. “There’s Someone Inside Your House” is neither silly and self-aware enough to be funny. Nor is it competent enough to be frightening. It’s worse than bad, it’s meh.
Netflix’s “There’s Someone Inside Your House” is a bland, soulless affair hoping to ride the coattails of more successful teen slasher films. When its not beating us over the head with its cliche message, it’s busy boring us to tears over its poorly articulated highschool drama. When the action finally arrives, it feels more like an reluctant obligation than a cathartic rush. The only real victim here is the audience.
Now if you’re looking for some good ole slasher fun, then we highly recommend checking out the “Fear Street Trilogy“. It’s got everything you filthy gorehounds need to have a wicked good time!
So, what did you think of Netflix’s “There’s Someone Inside Your House”? Be sure to let us know by leaving a reaction down below!
Netflix's "There’s Someone Inside Your House" Review
Netflix's "There's Someone Inside Your House" is a bland, soulless affair hoping to ride the coattails of more successful teen slasher films. When its not beating us over the head with its cliche message, it's busy boring us to tears over its poorly articulated highschool drama. When the action finally arrives, it feels more like an reluctant obligation than a cathartic rush.
- Netflix's "There’s Someone Inside Your House" Review